The team of Dave Forest and Philip O'Neill is a force to be reckoned with. Together they manage the Notela Group, an investment banking outfit that targets opportunities in the resource sector. They analyze big-picture trends to identify areas of opportunity and then use a team of experts – geologists, engineers, and project managers – to pin down specific projects that can tap into that potential. They then find the right vehicle to carry that project forward, whether an existing company, a shell, or a group of individuals. Notela stays attached to the venture through all stages of development, from private company to public listing and through fundraising and ongoing project management.
The hottest Notela-crafted play at present is Sunward Resources (V.SWD). The concept developed when Dave and Philip recognized Colombia as an up-and-coming mining jurisdiction, and as a place where underexploration coincides with good geologic potential and a stabilizing political scene. The result is Sunward, a company that is advancing two promising gold porphyries in the South American country. The company has raised $80 million since going public a year ago, and already boasts a 3.7-million-ounce gold resource at one of its two targets.
Now the pair is searching out opportunities to take advantage of India's coal crunch. This is exactly what we like about these two – few people are even aware that more than 30% of India's coal-fired power plants are running at critical stockpile levels. Dave and Philip are not just aware, but are figuring out how they can craft a business venture suited to this very real but underrecognized need.
Dave and Philip are both Casey alumni, having run the energy group before Marin Katusa took over. Dave is a geologist who has worked in oil and gas, mining, and environmental services, and he is a regular speaker at investment conferences. Philip holds a Bachelor of Applied Science and, along with his role at Notela, he founded and runs MP1 Capital, a Calgary-based private equity corporation focused on the resource sector.
The Notela team are young, smart, and ambitious. We can't wait to see what they will turn up next.